WaPo Celebrates 'Women Strike for Peace' Activist, Dishonestly Denies She and Bella Abzug Were Leftists

The Washington Post has no mention in Monday's newspaper of a "March for Life" to protest abortion on Monday, not even a mention that a few blocks of streets will be blocked and that traffic will be heavier on Metro subway trains. But the paper did mysteriously plop a story on the front of Monday's Metro section to celebrate a local global-disarmament activist who died 18 days ago. Dagmar Wilson co-founded "Women Strike for Peace,"  a radical-left anti-war group. Somehow this obit left out the other co-founder: feminist legend (and future congresswoman) Bella Abzug. Post reporter Emma Brown blatantly lied in this obituary, that these leftists weren't really leftists, just moms:

In an age of anti-communist fervor, Women Strike for Peace was a force of middle-age, middle-class women who wore white gloves and fine hats.

These were not leftist radicals but mothers, speaking about the dangers of radioactive material in children's milk and of the need to overcome political divisions for the sake of future generations.

"Nations disagree as families disagree," read an early call to action from Women Strike for Peace. "Women believe that nations can solve differences as families do, without killing each other."

The Post headlined its story "A mother who took a stand for peace." The Post couldn't do the research during in organizing this belated obituary to notice that a celebratory book was titled "Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s."  Where is the Post "Fact Checker" to count  how many Pinocchios Emma Brown will receive? In 1962, Dagmar Wilson and Bella Abzug's group made this radical declaration:

We are women of all races, creeds and political persuasions. We are dedicated to the purpose of general and complete disarmament. We demand that nuclear tests be banned forever, that the arms race end and the world abolish all weapons of destruction under United Nations safeguards. We cherish the Historical Introduction right and accept the responsibility to act to influence the course of government for peace. We join with women throughout the world to challenge the right of any nation or group of nations to hold the power of life and death over the world.

Brown celebrated how Wilson allegedly exposed the absurdity of the House Un-American Activities Committee with their "creative resistance" to the idea that they were radicals that never met an American military action or weapons system they favored. Brown never pondered that groups like Women Strike for Peace allied themselves with Soviet-bloc "peace" front groups in alliance against cold-warrior presidents like Nixon or Reagan. (Books like Guenter Lewy's Peace and Revolution and Rael Jean Isaac and Erich Isaac's The Coercive Utopians tell this story.) But here's Brown:

But Mrs. Wilson and her colleagues approached their testimony with irreverence, humor and creative resistance. Their performances, part of a series of events that led to the committee's demise, were much admired in the press.

"Peace Gals Make Red Hunters Look Silly," said one newspaper's headline.

The hearing room was packed with 60 women who laughed and applauded when they pleased, ignoring warnings from committee members seeking order. Each time a woman rose to testify, a supporter presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

Alfred Nittle, the committee's counsel, tried to establish that the women's group was being unwittingly manipulated by communists. He asked Mrs. Wilson whether she would allow Communist Party members to occupy leadership posts at Women Strike for Peace.

"My dear sir," Mrs. Wilson replied, "I have no way or desire to control those who wish to join our efforts for peace. Unless everyone in the world joins in this fight, then God help us."

Nittle persisted. "Would you permit Nazis or fascists to join?" he asked.

"If only we could get them," Mrs. Wilson quipped.

Years later, she described that day as a "great moment of my life."

"I had the opportunity not only to confront my accusers but also to make them look like idiots," she said. "To us, they seemed so absurd. But it can be a terrible danger when that which is absurd becomes accepted truth."

What's "absurd" but is passed off as "accepted truth" by the Washington Post is that WSP was not a group of leftists.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis